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California State University, Long Beach
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Graduate Center for Public Policy and Administration

Graduate Programs

Master of Public Administration (code PPA_MP01)

This is a 39‑unit program. A common grounding in the core areas of public policy and administration is required; beyond this, considerable freedom of choice enables students to select subjects which fit their particular backgrounds or career objectives.

Admission Requirements

  • 1. Minimum 3.0 Undergraduate GPA
  • 2. Demonstrated competence in professional writing. A listing of ways you can demonstrate writing competence is available in the Center office (ET 235) or on the Center website:
  • 3. Quality of professional experience as evaluated by Center faculty. This evaluation will be based on the applicant's current job description, resume, any other materials submitted by the applicant, and the length of professional service.
  • 4. Other evidence of applicant's potential to undertake and successfully complete the MPA course of study: faculty may consider other evidence submitted by the applicant; for example, scores on optional standardized examinations such as the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, or other recognized standardized examinations.

Following admission to the University and acceptance to the Center, each student should meet with a faculty advisor.

A student whose overall grade point average is less than 3.0, but who presents acceptable evidence of professional potential shown through recent academic performance and experiential background, may be admitted by special action of the Center.

Orientation Requirement

All students must attend a mandatory Center orientation within the first two semesters of acceptance into the MPA Program.

Advancement to Candidacy

  • 1. Fulfillment of the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)
  • 2. Minimum GPA of 3.0 in all graduate work completed at this University, or transferred from other sources, to meet degree or program requirements.
  • 3. Successful completion (Grade of B or better) of six units in the MPA program.
  • 4. A grade of "B" or better in all of the following undergraduate courses: microeconomics, basic statistics, American government, and writing or composition.
  • 5. Satisfactory completion of the orientation requirement.


  • 1. A minimum of 39 course units in graduate course work, with a minimum of 21 units of 500/600 level courses in public policy and administration;
  • 2. Satisfactory completion of the following:
    • PPA 500 Foundations of Public Policy & Administration (3)
    • PPA 555 Government Budgeting and Finance (3)
    • PPA 577 Public Sector Human Resources Management (3)
    • PPA 660 Seminar in Organization Theory and Behavior (3)
    • PPA 670 Policy Issue Analysis (3)
    • PPA 696 Research Methods in Public Administration (3)
  • 3. Completion of approved internship program (PPA 585) as required course work beyond the 36-unit minimum, or waiver of the internship requirement based on professional experience;
  • 4. Additional elective course work in elective fields to meet the 36-unit minimum;
  • 5. Successful completion of the following:
    • PPA 697 Directed Research (6)
    • An approved Student Learning Portfolio

University Courses Acceptable for the Master of Public Administration

A wide variety of graduate courses in other departments also are acceptable. Graduate course descriptions are found in the department listings in which they are offered. Consult with Center Faculty for more information.